Johnny Mayer, Blues Musician

David Broza, Johnny Mayer, Kibbutz Yiftah, Israel

Blues Harmonica & Black Music

By Johnny Mayer

What do Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan & John Popper have in common?

Music is fun! And there is no more FUN instrument to play than the blues harmonica. It's  inexpensive (costs less than $20.00), fits in your pocket and is easy to learn to play. Once you learn a few licks (simple phrases), you'll be able to jam (make music) with people who play many different styles - blues, rock, jazz, country and ethnic music, etc.

What's more, the harmonica is a SERIOUS instrument for anyone with a passion  for playing 'black music'. The styles mentioned above (blues, rock, etc) all have common roots in the experience of Afro-Americans that rose from slavery to freedom. In the process, they adapted an African scale (pentatonic) and rhythm (shuffle beat) to Western (mostly European) instruments and music to create American 'black music.'

To this day, the Blues Harmonica is still an IDEAL instrument for learning to play the blues, jazz, rock and other forms of "black music." Blues harmonica requires the student to learn how to "bend notes" (playing pentatonic scale notes on an instrument not designed for that) and "play by ear" (as opposed to reading music).

But Talk Is Cheap" as Jim Liban, my harp mentor in Milwaukee, WI used to sing. Then he'd take out his blues harp and blow the roof off!!!


Johnny Mayer, Yonat Mayer, Eli Marcus, Intl Guitar Festival,     (Lili Barchilon)

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